Joonas Suotamo

Peter Mayhew has a permanent place in our hearts as Chewbacca the Wookiee, the angry towering walking carpet who served as Han Solo’s co-pilot and mechanic on the Millenium Falcon in Star Wars. Despite health issues related to his height (Mayhew is 7’2), he has done The Force Awakens and the upcoming Last Jedibut it’s time to pass the torch, and he has. Mayhew was assisted in his final appearance as Chewbacca by former Penn State power forward Joonas Suotamo, who was Mayhew’s body double – that’s the guy who stands in for the actor while they’re doing basic scene blocking, and setting up the lights and camera for the scenes.

Peter Mayhew’s entire career has been defined by Chewie. Every time you’ve seen Chewbacca on the big screen, it’s been Mayhew. Now it’s going to be Suotamo, and the fans have been nothing but supportive.  And why not? First, he’s an enormous – if you’ll pardon the expression – fan boy when it comes to Star Wars, so he’s already one of us. And second, you get what you give, and this new Wookiee seems to have a heart of gold.


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